Amanda Bacon, who claimed the man she was living with threw and fatally injured her 6-month-old son, was convicted in Lucas County Common Pleas Court on Friday of murder and child endangering in the infant’s death.
A jury of nine men and three women deliberated for more than 13 hours over three days before they returned their verdicts against Bacon. The panel acquitted her of the more serious offense of aggravated murder.
Bacon, 26, of 504 W. Alexis Rd. cried as deputies removed her from the courtroom of Judge Frederick McDonald after the verdicts were announced.
She faces up to life in prison in the beating death of her son, Avery Glynn Bacon. She will be sentenced Thursday by Judge McDonald.
Rob Miller, chief of the special units division for the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office, said the jury’s finding of murder was appropriate given the circumstances of the infant’s death.
“In aggravated murder, we have to prove that she intended to kill her child. We are in agreement with the jury’s verdict in the act of committing child endangering it was the result of Avery’s death,” Mr. Miller said. “It was difficult to prove it was her intent to kill, that is why the finding of the jury was more appropriate.”
Prosecutors said Bacon bashed the baby’s head at least twice on Dec. 16, leading to his death two days later at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. They said the infant was struck so hard that his skull began to separate.
During the trial, jurors heard the testimony of Dr. Patrick McCormick, a neurosurgeon who examined Avery at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center on Dec. 17. He testified that the trauma was so severe, Avery would have become unresponsive almost immediately.
Bacon took the witness stand in her own defense, claiming she didn’t hurt her son. She testified she had worked as a prostitute, but insisted it was Frank Jones — the man with whom she lived — who forced her to prostitute herself.
She also told jurors it was Mr. Jones who hurt Avery, not her, and that he was alone with the baby the night of Dec. 16, 2012. She said she did not seek medical care for her son until after she returned from a trick at a motel in Michigan with a customer who paid her $60 for sex.
Mr. Miller said the mother’s testimony that she heard her son crying outside the home when she returned from the motel was inconsistent with the testimony of experts.
“There is no way the baby would have been crying because of the catastrophic injuries he received,” he said.
Mr. Miller said the conviction for child endangering, which carries a sentence of 2 to 8 years, will be merged with the murder conviction for sentencing purposes because it is a lesser offense.
Spiros Cocoves, an attorney for Bacon, said the convictions would be appealed. He would not comment further.
Angelica Billings said her mother, Theresa Skrepenski, was the caregiver for Avery. She said she took the infant into her home about a week after he was born and returned him to Bacon about a week before he was murdered. Mrs. Skrepenski died in August.
Ms. Billings said she and her boyfriend had asked Bacon to give up Avery and let them adopt him. She said Bacon also had the option of using the state Safe Haven law, which allows parents to hand over infants to fire stations or hospitals.
“I hope she gets life in prison and she never gets out,” she said.
Contact Mark Reiter at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6199.